The other day someone burst into my office all in a fluster. Something's obviously wrong, and I'm of course deadpan as can be as they try to describe the nature of their technical emergency:
"I was logged in, and then I did something, and then it gave me an error message, and then it kicked me out."
I took a sip of my tea, waiting for her to start giving me the details.
Instead, she stares at me with an increasingly impatient glare. "Well," she demands. "What did I do?"
I pause for a moment, making sure I heard that correctly as I set my tea down. "I'm...not sure," I managed to comment. "I was actually about to ask you the very same thing."
"That's what you're supposed to be telling me?"
Ah. Well, let's try something else then. "All right. What about the error message that you said it showed you? What did that say was wrong?"
"Um...I didn't think you'd need to know what that said..."
Of course. I look up at her, still hovering over my desk. Still apparently awaiting an answer. I've yet to figure out what the question even is, other than a disconnection was involved at some point. "Information like that does often help," I tried to explain. Luckily I've played enough poker in the past to keep my expression flatly neutral as I spoke. "Without more details, I'm afraid I can't explain why you got the error messages that I don't know about, or why the things you haven't said that you were doing might have caused them."
Not much of a nightmare story, compared to what I unfortunately have become accustomed to. Nevertheless, I only wish I had not been serious when I uttered such a response.
Sorry to bore you with tales from the trenches, but I just had to share. It's not the soul-crushing misery that I had to endure at CMI - far from it, in fact - but things like this do amuse me.